Mushrooms have been extensively included in oriental diets for their medicinal powers. Traditional medicine history in China and Japan shows that mushrooms have been used to boost immunity and fight diseases for more than 3000 years. Recent scientific research has also shown that mushrooms have the potential to build a healthy immune system, repel tumor growth and promote the growth of intestinal flora.
Morel, also known as Morchella Elata, is a rich source of vitamin D, vitamin B, protein, not to mention thiamine, niacin and riboflavin. You could also find selenium, copper and potassium in morel.
Three ounces (84g) of morel mushrooms contain about 50 calories. It’s free of fat and the total carbohydrate content is just about 3g and protein content is at 2g.
Selection of Morel Mushrooms
When selecting morel mushrooms, you should be able to differentiate between true morels and false morels. Don’t take the risk of consuming false morels as they contain a kind of carcinogenic toxin which could lead to gastrointestinal problems. Also, avoid consuming morel mushrooms with alcohol. Studies have shown that when the two mix there could be mild poisoning.
So, how do you identify a false morel? The first difference you would see in a false morel is the stem. Instead of being hollow it contains a cotton-like substance. Also the cap is positioned at the top of the stalk and could easily be severed from the stem. Another indication is that the cap has wrinkles and resembles the appearance of a honeycomb. Examples of false morels are Verpa Bohemica and Gyromitra Esculenta or popularly known as Beefsteak Morel.
How to Prepare Morel Mushrooms for Cooking
Morel mushrooms must be thoroughly cleaned before they are cooked. You would first want to rinse them before cutting them into two, lengthwise. Then you would want to thoroughly rinse them again. For additional safety, soak them in salt water to rid them of any harmful microorganisms that may be lodged in the mushrooms.
Soaking in salt water is not really compulsory though. Some don’t fancy doing it for fear of making the mushrooms salty before cooking. If you decide to soak them in salt water, don’t do it for a long period of time.
If you aren’t going to cook morel mushrooms soon after buying them, you should try to remove as much water as possible from them. Then cover them with a damp paper towel and leave them in the fridge to retain their crispness. To maintain freshness, don’t refrigerate for more than three days.
There are hundreds of morel recipes over the Internet. Just search for `morel healthy recipes’ and you’ll be presented with unlimited choices. If healthy eating is your concern choose ones that promote the use of olive oil, garlic, ginger and other health-boosting ingredients. A site worth visiting for morel recipes is the The Great Morel.
https://thegreatmorel.com/faq.html - preparation for cooking morel mushrooms
https://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/nutrition-calories/food/generic/morel-mushrooms-fresh/ - nutrition facts of morel mushrooms.
https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/outdoor-recreation/how/mushrooms/edible-mushrooms - morel mushroom caution